There is no eloquent way to put it: Feeling uncomfortable in your own body sucks. I feel too there and too invisible all at once. I don’t want to date because my body image is so bad. I don’t like posing for pictures anymore and I un-tag myself in full body photos on Facebook. I hate shopping for clothes. I’m afraid to do physical things with my friends, fearing that I won’t be able to keep up, or worse, that I’ll slow them down. I am not happy. I am uncomfortable. And I can’t escape from my body. And this isn’t a something I can just avoid, as I am constantly incased within myself.
So instead, I have to face it.
To be clear, yes, many people can be at a heavier weight and be totally happy and healthy. However, I am not one of those people. I gained weight as a result of not taking care of myself. I was eating like shit and moving too little and drinking too much. If I was heavier while treating my mind and body with the respect it deserves, then I would accept my body as it is and move on. But this is not the case, so I have to make a change.
To give you some background over the past few years, I went through some life-changing experiences. I graduated from college. I got my first full-time desk job, which made me much more sedentary and stressed. My struggles with depression and anxiety hit an all-time high, and if I wasn’t at work, I was sleeping or drinking wine on the couch. I was miserable. On top of that, I graduated from college with some weight to lose (thank you, Coors Light and drunk food and the typical stress that comes with school). With all of these factors coming into play, it makes sense that I put on some lbs.
And for a while, I became complacent with my lifestyle choices. I let the stress and depression eat me alive. I stopped weighing myself because I figured it couldn’t get worse. (It did.) And finally, I hit my heaviest weight yet. And unlike the #fitfam on Instagram will tell you, I didn’t feel immediately motivated to get off my ass and get to the gym and change my diet. Instead, I felt fucking defeated and ashamed that I let it get this bad.
In the past few months, however, something did spark within me. It wasn’t an epiphany or a sudden burst of inspiration. It was quiet and gradual. I started making healthier food choices. I slowly introduced the gym as a part of my routine. I saw the first 10 pounds come off. And it felt good. I felt good! It was then that I realized that I could do this — I could get my health back. It wasn’t too late.
Overall, I want to lose 85 pounds total to get to my goal weight. So far, I have 75 pounds to go. And in order to lose this weight, I am going to need to invest in my health and fitness in several areas of my life. Some of this cost me money, such as a subscription to an app to help me track my eating and exercise habits. Some will save me money, such as cooking most of my meals, so I know exactly what I’m putting in my body. And some will be social “costs,” such as saying no to a night out or happy hour. Overall, it’s going to be tough to adjust my lifestyle, but it will be worth it. I’m finally making my health a priority, and I know I will be a lot happier for it.
So, without further ado, here is everything I’m doing to lose 85 pounds and exactly what that’s going to cost me.
(Note: Losing weight is trial and error. I may find I can spend a lot less on groceries per week or have to spend more. This is my current formula that I have seen success with. As I lose more weight, I may need to increase spending or decrease.)
Weight Watchers App ($19.95/Month)
Spending the monthly fee keeps me accountable. I love the point-based system as well because it keeps me on track and gives me a bit of a gratified feeling when I stay within the confines of my day. I love being able to track my weight loss on the app, too. It’s been well worth the monthly subscription fee.
Gym Membership ($21.20/Month)
I got a black card to Planet Fitness. Not my favorite gym ever, but you really can’t beat the price. Also, having the black card makes it easy to bring a workout buddy, adding accountability and increasing the chances I will go! Currently, I’m aiming for three days a week, eventually increasing to five by the second month.
Cooking the majority of meals at home ($50/week on groceries)
This way, I will know exactly what I’m eating. It helps with tracking for the WW app as well, since I can use the barcode scanner for certain products and get the nutrition facts immediately. Ultimately, I’m going to save a lot of money by doing this, as well as calories. Win-win, in my book.
Alcohol no more than once a week
It’s not entirely realistic for me to forego happy hours after work for the remainder of my existence. I love catching up with friends over a quick beer at a cool bar. However, I’ve found that alcohol tends to derail my progress if I’m not careful. For now, I’m choosing to resist the temptation for cheap drinks out by spending my time (and money) more wisely and limiting my alcohol intake to once a week. Going out can be a big part of people’s twenties, and maybe as I grow to be more disciplined, I can loosen the reins a bit, but for now, once a week is way more than enough.
Less Lyft, more walk
I recently moved to Denver, Colorado from metro Detroit, Michigan, and in an effort to cut costs for this move, I have chosen to ditch the car. This has also given me the opportunity to Lyft a lot more, which adds up. However, as I’m learning the area, I’m actually in a part of town that’s incredibly walkable. Not only will I be saving money, but I’ll be getting more steps in as well. Yes, Lyft is incredibly convenient, but if I have the opportunity to get a little more exercise, I’m going to take it.
Minimal eating out
Like going out for drinks, it’s not realistic for me to never eat out again as long as I live. However, practicing more moderation with going out to eat will most likely help me lose more weight. Studies have shown that eating at home increases your chances of losing weight, since temptations are fewer and you know what’s going into your food.
Currently, I’m going to have a frequency of every other week, with a limit of $25 total for that meal.
Losing weight is not easy. It’s as much of an emotional journey as it is physical. Being compassionate towards yourself will make the process a hell of a lot better. Set a goal, a timeframe, and stick to it to the best of your ability. Forgive yourself for your missteps. And keep looking forward.
Molly is an assistant digital strategist by day and a writer by night. She drinks way too much coffee and can be found on Twitter here.
Image via Unsplash